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Hearing names like Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe conjures a certain type of woman and a very distinct era of New York history in my mind.  As I step into the Erno Laszlo Institute, I feel like I might stumble into Audrey Hepburn as I turn the corner and am greeted by my skin consultant.  Suzanne spends a few minutes listening sympathetically to my beauty woes before giving me a quick tour of the place that was once deemed the 'House of Silence' for all of the beauty secrets kept behind its doors.
 
In 1937, when Ernzo Laszlo opened his doors on Fifth Avenue in New York City, it was an exclusive club rumored that 99% of the people seeking membership were turned away.  Reopened in a trendy area of Soho in 2012, the institute retains its air of exclusivity.  I'm immediately impressed by the floor to ceiling crystal chandelier and spiraling 3 story staircase that are the centerpiece of this location.  When we make our way down to the treatment rooms, I know I'm about to experience something unlike any other facial I've ever had.  
 

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Our first stop is in the 'Light Therapy Room' where Suzanne explains they have many different light machines to treat different conditions, including a Hungarian light that specializes in healing (she plans to use this on me later...I am in my glory.)  We move along to another treatment room that has an oxygen chamber and other devices that can be used to alleviate jet-lag, water retention, and other ailments not typically treated at a spa.  I get the feeling I'm in the capable hands of people who really help women look good and feel good about themselves.  You won't find Botox or any other injectables around here.  The Erno Laszlo philosophy is based on long-term, consistent skin care - not just a quick fix.  Our last stop is their make-up room where clients can experiment with various products or become ready to face the world again post-facial.  I make a mental note to stop back here before I leave.
 
My treatment, which lasts about an hour and a half, is nothing short of perfection.  Suzanne cleanses my face and neck and then spends time examining my skin to evaluate what it needs most.  I'm impressed by her 'less is more' approach to the products, which reassures me that I'm not just here to be upsold.  After microdermabrasion, a few extractions, an enzyme peel, light-therapy, and a little dose of oxygen, Suzanne says she sees results already - which will be even more noticeable when I wake up the next morning.  She finishes the treatment using a high-frequency machine that kills any bacteria that might have been brought to the surface during the facial.  Anyone who has ever suffered from a post-facial breakout can understand the true significance of this final step.  

My treatment, which lasts about an hour and a half, is nothing short of perfection.

As soon as I look in the mirror, I'm relieved.  When I arrived at the Institute, my skin was aggravated from previous break-outs and I had a lot of inflammation on my chin.  The result of my treatment is calmer, less red-looking skin that feels amazing.  What's missing from this experience is the sticky/slimy residue on my face often the result after a facial that uses too many products.  My skin feels unusually smooth and hydrated.  When I go upstairs, Suzanne asks a colleague to assist me with make-up so I can try a few of their best sellers before I'm on my way.  She stays with me during this consultation and gives her feedback to the make-up artist based on my skin needs. 
 
They gave me the perfect sample size of products and make-up to take home and try.  So far my favoritesare the Sea-Mud Deep cleansing bar and the Shake-it tinted treatment.  The cleansing bar makes my skin feel clean without feeling stripped, which is often the case with cleansers that are associated with deep cleaning.  The Shake-it tinted treatment is an absolute wonder-product!  It comes in a variety of different shades to match your skin tone and is the perfect amount of coverage to layer under your regular make-up or to just wear to run errands.  I LOVE multi-tasking products and Dr. Erno Laszlo was quite the visionary when he created this treatment.  How could he have known 80 years ago that the modern woman would aim to be up, ready and out the door in thirty minutes flat?  I'm thankful his legacy is continuing in our very own New York City and rumor has it they offer a yearly membership - sign me up!

 

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